Last week we announced the publication of the book Bean Blossom – The Brown County Jamboree and Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Festivals, Tom Adler‘s history of the music park.
Adler was understandably proud and relieved to see the finished product …. but the photograph (left) betrays his considerable glee as well.
On May 26 Adler spoke about his book and, more specifically, Bill Monroe’s ‘Decision to Buy the Brown County Jamboree’ at the 28th Annual International Country Music Conference (ICMC), held at Nashville’s Belmont University. The audiovisual slideshow lecture was well-received and, for the first time, Adler had copies of his book for sale.
Earlier he was interviewed by Scott Tichenor, the man behind the Mandolin Café website. This interview was published on the website May 29.
Also, there is a nice audiovisual piece about Bean Blossom and Adler’s book that has appeared on NPR radio affiliate WFIU, Bloomington, IN.
As part of the promotional push, he will be giving his ICMC presentation at Bean Blossom tomorrow (Friday, 6/17) at midnight.
Reviews of the 264 page book are now being written. Here is what David Freeman of County Sales has to say ….
“Those old enough to have attended any of the country music parks in their hey day (the 1940s on into the 1960s) will know what a delightful experience it was to hear some of your favorite country and Bluegrass bands out in the open of a summer Sunday. Such parks were spread out all over the USA, but especially in the mid Atlantic states and the mid west. Fans got to see and hear-and meet-groups and artists who would otherwise have been heard only on records and over the radio, and it’s safe to say that many young folks became life long fans of the music through these family-friendly day long shows. Bean Blossom is one of the more famous parks, as it was owned from 1951 into the 1970s by Bill Monroe, who not only presented weekly shows at his Brown County Jamboree, but also sponsored a well known, week long Bluegrass Festival each summer. Adler, in a detailed, well written book, covers the Park’s first beginnings in 1939, its change of ownership in 1951, and its most recent life under the ownership of Dwight Dillman. He makes note of most of the groups who played there, as well as the roles played by Brother Birch Monroe, Neil Rosenberg, Ralph Rinzler, Tex Logan (barbecue bean day), and others. There’s quite a wealth of information here and lots of great memories for anyone whoever visited the Jamboree or the Annual Festival.”